Ford cuts agency staff pay

John Phillips FORD bosses are facing a potential revolt after cutting the pay of agency staff by 10 per cent while granting a 5.25 per cent increase to permanent workers. Management at the 4,500-worker factory in Chequers Lane, Dagenham, received a deluge of complaints

John Phillips

FORD bosses are facing a potential revolt after cutting the pay of agency staff by 10 per cent while granting a 5.25 per cent increase to permanent workers.

Management at the 4,500-worker factory in Chequers Lane, Dagenham, received a deluge of complaints on Thursday, according to a source, after imposing the pay cuts as part of a multi-million pound UK package of measures to offset the recession.

Ford Britain said the salaried workers' pay increase was agreed in March after months of wrangling with union bosses and reflected the pre-recession inflation rate.

A spokesman said the company had reluctantly given in to their demands and been backdating their pay increase to November 2008, but was now facing "exceptionally difficult" economic conditions.

But a manager at Dagenham said he had not only faced the wrath of temporary workers, after around 100 temporary staff redundancies before Christmas, but also "ridicule" over his inability to justify the wage disparity.

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The GMB union, which secured the permanent staff pay increase, was unavailable for comment.

A Ford spokesman said: "The current pay negotiations took place in October and November 2008 and a 5.25 per cent first-year increase was tabled at this time, reflecting the high inflation rate.

"The business situation has worsened significantly since then and inflation has fallen. "Conserving cash is the single most important task confronting the company."

Ford, however, was unwilling to reveal the number of agency staff working at the plant.

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